Cyclone kills 6 in Maharashtra, airport shut, Navy on rescue to Bombay High (Round-up)

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By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, May 17 |
At least 6 persons were killed in Maharashtra as the fury of Cyclone Tauktae wreaked havoc in the state, bringing heavy rains, strong gales of over 100 km/hr, uprooting scores of trees, damaging over 2,500 homes, disrupting road traffic, and forcing shutdown of Mumbai international airport for at least 9 hours, officials said.

In a worrisome development, the Indian Navy despatched two ships to rescue 410 personnel, including 273 of the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) stranded on a drifting barge near the Bombay High Fields, around 175 kms off Mumbai, in the direct path of the cyclone whirling towards Gujarat in the choppy Arabian Sea, and others on a barge around 15 kms near the city.

At least 6 persons were killed and 9 injured in various cyclone related incidents in the state, said an official from the CMO.

Categorised as ‘Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm’, its impact was felt shortly after midnight with many areas lashed heavy rains, with lightning and thunder in some places, aggravated by powerful winds upto 120 km/hr, as it cascaded northwards from Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri towards Raigad-Mumbai en route to the Gujarat coast.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who personally monitored the situation, orderd the state authorities to shift out 12,500 people from vulnerable coastal spots in Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Raigad, and he also apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the measures taken to minimise casualties and damage.

Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport was shut for all operations from 11am and the shutdown was extended till 8 pm at regular intervals owing to inclement weather conditions, while 3 private airlines flights were diverted to less turbulent locations.

By evening, the city had recorded an average of 120mm and the downpour continued in most areas, with the intensity moving northwards.

The pouring rains substantially cooled the weather at the height of mid-summer when Mumbai normally swelters with the mercury remaining in the upper-30s-to-mid-40s.

Several roads were littered as at least 30 big and small trees got uprooted in different parts of Mumbai and Thane, during the night, besides damage to homes, buildings, offices, factories, major subways in Malad, Kandivali, Dahisar, Andheri and Santacruz flooded and closed to traffic for hours, and many low-lying areas waterlogged, adding to the people’s woes.

There was considerable damage in the form of roofs of hutments getting blown away in the city and suburbs, the name hoarding of the St. Francis D’Assissi School & College – the site for many Bollywood film shootings in Borivali, ripped and breaking down, signals, electric poles, hoardings, road signs, banners, etc getting uprooted or tossed away long distances, in different parts of the city, blocking roads, highways and railway tracks.

However, there was no disruption to any of the Covid-19 treatment centres or jumbo field hospitals which had been evacuated of patients by the BMC on Saturday evening, said the official.

The cyclone, hovering around 160 kms away from the Mumbai coast, is likely to make a landfall in south Gujarat coast by midnight tonight, said the IMD’s latest warning bulletin.

Accompanied by strong winds of 180-190 kmph, gusting to 210 kmph, its ferocity is expected to reduce gradually over the next 48 hours into a depression with 40-60 kmph windspeeds by Wednesday morning, the IMD said.

The combined effect of the strong winds and rains resulted in ‘Phenomenal’ 3-metres tall waves building up in the frothy Arabian Sea alogn with tidal waves and the authorities have completely banned all fishing and other maritime activities for the next few days.

The huge waves lashed the iconic 97-year-old Gateway of India, waters smashed on the promenade onto the entrance of the imposing 118-year-old Hotel Taj Mahal, similar scenes were witnessed at the Marine Drive, Haji Ali, Worli, Mahim, Bandra, Juhu, Versova, Manori, Gorai and other beachfronts.

Most areas of the city wore a desolate look with people preferring to remain indoors, and a few who dared venture out despite the cyclone and the ongoing lockdown restrictions, were stuck either on blocked or waterlogged roads or in traffic snarls.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)

Source: IANS

Next Story

Elon Musk asks hard-hitting AI engineers for job

Elon Musk asks hard-hitting AI engineers for job

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk on Monday tweeted that he is hiring Artificial Intelligence (AI) engineers who are passionate about solving day-to-day problems through AI

San Francisco, Dec 6 | Musk hiring engineers to solve problems that affects people’s lives. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk on Monday tweeted that he is hiring Artificial Intelligence (AI) engineers who are passionate about solving day-to-day problems through AI.

“As always, Tesla is looking for hardcore AI engineers who care about solving problems that directly affect people’s lives in a major way,” Musk tweeted along with a link to apply for the job.

Interested candidates can apply by filling in fields like name, email, exceptional work done in software, hardware or AI, dropping their resume in the PDF format and hitting the Apply option.

As per the website, Tesla’s AI and Autopilot unit develops and deploys autonomy at scale in vehicles, robots and more.

“We believe that an approach based on advanced for vision and planning, supported by efficient use of inference hardware, is the only way to achieve a general solution for full self-driving and beyond,” the website read.

In a 2014 interview, Musk said he looked for “evidence of exceptional ability” in a potential employee, rather than a degree from a prestigious university.

Acer launches new gaming laptop with 4K Mini LED panel

“There is no need even to have a college degree at all, or even high school,” Musk said during an interview with the German automotive publication Auto Bild about his hiring preferences more broadly.

“If somebody graduated from a great university, that may be an indication that they will be capable of great things, but it’s not necessarily the case. If you look at, say, people like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, these guys didna¿t graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea.”

Source: IANS

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